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BOSTON (CBS) – On Sunday night, the Boston Bruins were a lost bunch.
They had just watched their 3-1 series lead evaporate with a 2-1 loss to the Maple Leafs, and they would be heading home for a deciding Game 7 in Boston on Monday night.
Getting home was a problem, as their charter flight had a malfunction and they would now be spending an extra night in Toronto.
They had just lost, just been told they couldn’t go home, and needed to catch a break. Or more importantly, needed a bite to eat.
Luckily, despite the fact most of their employees are Leafs fans, the Canyon Creek Chophouse in Mississauga was willing to give them that break (or meal), staying open late Sunday night to accommodate the hungry Bruins.
Just as the restaurant was closing up shop, they received a call from the Bruins asking if they could eat there. Thinking it was a prank, service manager Lauren Grenier played along. She told the caller if their party of 50 arrived in 10 minutes, they would be served.
Ten minutes later, a giant bus pulled up outside the restaurant and the Bruins slowly piled in.
“It was just chaos,” Grenier told The Globe And Mail in Toronto. “We just started hammering out the food for them. It was just so awkward. We had all the music off, but we had the TV on, I think with the Detroit game. And they were all sitting there and it was so quiet because they had lost.”
“But they ate so much food – steaks, chicken, pasta and salad. Some of them were a little picky and wanted personal things off the menus,” she continued. “We tried to do whatever we could for them.”
The staff stayed and served the Bruins for roughly two hours. Since it was a Sunday night, they weren’t properly staffed and needed to call a nearby restaurant owned by the same company for an assist.
It was a long night, and the team didn’t start to head out until after 1 a.m., but the staff of the Chophouse wouldn’t go home empty handed.
As the meal was coming to an end, Grenier mentioned to a Boston executive how great it would be to be able to attend Game 7 in Boston. It didn’t take long for someone to ask how many tickets she wanted, and unlike their many fruitless shot attempts over the last two games, the Bruins came through.
At 4:30 a.m. on Monday, Grenier, the restaurant’s general manager, a server and a bartender were off on the 10-hour drive to Boston, ready to watch Game 7 in person thanks to the Bruins.
“I still can’t believe it,” she said. “And the fact that most of us in the restaurant were Leafs fans, and they still gave us the tickets, is even more amazing.”
But fear not, the Bruins didn’t just hand over tickets to four Leafs fans. Darren Boast, one of the servers from Sunday who received a ticket, is a Bruins fan and will wear his Boston jersey while the other three sport their Leafs colors.